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Friday, October 29, 2021


(Above: Liesl Coppin, Bryan Hiles & Cara Roberts)

(Sylvia is well worth seeing. In some ways the formulae is typical of a rom/com, but this time the love interest is an adorable dog. Go figure. (Review by Keith Millar)

The enchanting romantic comedy Sylvia was originally staged by Kickstart Production Company at the Seabrooke’s Theatre on the campus of Durban High School in October last year.

Now, according to their publicity, it has been brought back “by popular demand”. There is no surprise in that because the production was a delightful and heart-warming experience.

And this time around it remains exactly the same – delightful and heart-warming. And who does not need a bit of extra delight and warming of the heart in their lives these days?

The play tells the story of Greg. A middle-aged man who is decidedly experiencing a mid-life crisis. He is unhappy at work; his children have flown the nest and he is struggling to find a purpose in life.

Then he comes across a stray dog in the local park who, according to the name tag around her neck, is named Sylvia. He falls instantly in love with the endearing pooch and decides to take her home and adopt her.

Greg’s wife, Kate, is not exactly enamoured with this idea and the arrival of Sylvia in their lives soon causes all sorts of marital strife.

The small cast is excellent. Bryan Hiles as Greg and Liesl Coppin as his wife Kate show all their experience and skill in their convincing performances as the middle-aged couple.

(Greg King & Bryan Hiles)

Three character roles are all played with aplomb and humour by Greg King. He is Tom, a macho dog lover who meets Greg (Hiles) in the park, Phyllis, an old family friend (he is particularly funny in this role – almost a panto dame), and Leslie the cross-dressing Marriage Counsellor who ends up needing counselling her/himself.

But the absolute star of the show is Cara Roberts as Sylvia the talking dog. The character she creates is captivating. Cute, cuddly, lovable and at times just a little naughty. Roberts displays a huge amount of energy in her very physical performance. This young lady has oodles of talent.

Sylvia is written by AR Gurney. The inventive and elegant set is the creation of the multi-talented Greg King. Along with Peter Court, he directed the production while lighting is by Michael Broderick. Costumes are also by Peter Court.

Sylvia is well worth seeing. In some ways the formulae is typical of a rom/com, but this time the love interest is an adorable dog. Go figure.

Sylvia runs until November 14 with performances Thursdays and Fridays at 19h00; Saturdays 14h30 and 19h00 and Sundays at 14h30.

Tickets R175 throughout – Computicket. Seating unreserved – seats allocated at the door in line with COVID protocols

Booking for Sylvia is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at

Please arrive timeously as all COVID protocols need to be observed.

Seabrooke’s Theatre is at Durban High School in St Thomas Road. Safe parking on the school grounds. – Keith Millar